The Refugee Employment Crisis

Participation in the labour market is seen as the most important factor favouring long term integration into society. The UK currently has no national strategy to aid the transition of refugees into the labour market, but instead relies on NGOs and community-based charities to provide specific and tailored refugee employment services.


Lack of English language skills is one of the most significant obstacles to obtaining employment; those with poor language skills are likely to have access to a much smaller range of employment and training opportunities.

Gaps on CV

Significant gaps on the CV due to prolonged asylum process during which most refugees are unable to work. The significant period of unemployment created by the UK’s asylum process produces more than just an obstacle of the gap on the CV.

Work Experience

Lack of work experience in host country which is often prerequisite for getting a job. In the UK, work placements and other job experience opportunities are often too short and do not allow participants sufficient time to acclimatise to a different language and a different culture of work. Some refugees have qualifications that they cannot prove because they are unable to obtain duplicates of the necessary paperwork.

Social Networks

Lack of UK references. Lack of access to networks which would strengthen employment prospects and knowledge of recruitment methods. Refugees may have no, or limited, social and professional connections in the UK.

UK Job Market

Lack of appropriate training or unrecognised educational and professional qualifications. Lack of knowledge/awareness of tailoring current experience to new roles and understanding of transferable skills. Lack of understanding of the host country employment culture and job application procedures, including cultural nuances and etiquette of the UK.

Social Stigmas

Racism and negative stereotyping. Cross-cultural misunderstandings can contribute to misplaced suspicion and hostility. Public and workplace perception that additional costs and admin will be required when hiring a refugee.

Breaking Barriers enables refugees in London to acquire the knowledge, confidence and experience they need to secure stable and fulfilling employment. We offer bespoke, intensive and flexible employment support to assist individual integration journeys and create more fulfilling lives. We offer flexible, personalised employment support for refugees regardless of their background or employment status. Our trained caseworkers work closely with each client to develop their employability skills and help them to secure fulfilling employment that matches with their skills and experience.

Our Programmes

Employment Support

We offer one-to-one, personalised, employment support to refugees seeking to rebuild their life in the UK. Our employment and integration advisers and volunteers will work with you on writing your cv, applying for jobs and preparing for interviews.

Education Support

Our English and Training courses will help you to prepare for your first day on the job. From English for Work, to Customer Service to IT and Numeracy training, our courses are tailored to provide you the skills you need to succeed in a UK workplace. skills.

Understanding the UK Job Market

Clients who would benefit from experience in the UK workplace are offered a work placement with one of our corporate partners, as well as access to other training and mentoring schemes if a client would benefit from it.

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